Jaisalmer, situated in the State of Rajasthan, well known as the Golden City owing to its yellow sandstone architecture attracted our attention to set foot in this city, more than anything but for the desire of experiencing a desert atmosphere.
After setting out a detailed research of the city and particularly concentrating on the desert camps in Sam Dunes, we were confused to the core to choose the appropriate one as each one boasted of them being the best but the reviews from fellow travelers in Tripadvisor exposed their true colors of most of them. Most of the camps were not functioning given to the off season involved and few of the ones available did not appeal and stood their worth. We finally ended up zeroing down on Mamas resort in Khuri, which is around 40-50 kms away from Sam Dunes which looked promising through the words of unbiased reviews and the pictures of the photos of the camp.
We finally packed our bags and off we flew to Jaipur to spend two days in that city and after a satisfying exploration of the Pink city, we headed to Jaisalmer catching a late night train from Jaipur which promised to reach the city the next day by 12 noon. As the train marched towards its destination, we could notice that it baked under the scorching sun and soon caught a very dry world engulfing it. The world outside the compartment’s window seldom changed over the continued long stretch but it did make the inmates invading the 72 seats of the compartment speak to each other rather. A quick ray of respect for my garden city, Bangalore landed on my lips at that moment which blessed us with greenery around along with a beautiful weather.
The train finally came to a halt at one of the last station in India. As we stepped outside the station waiting for the cab to pick us up, the sun that had so far troubled the train, shifted its attention to us and the next few minutes we were all discussing the power of the sun. The resort is around 40 kms away from the Jaisalmer railway station. We were picked up timely from the railway station and we halted at one restaurant enroute to hide ourselves away from the vicinity of the sun and drown into a relaxing meal.
We finally reached the resort at 4 pm. The resort was spot clean and the rooms were very well maintained. Being an off-season period, not many souls had invaded the resort. The staff seemed very polite and courteous and was right on their toes for addressing our needs post check-in. The resort did not have a intercom telephone facility so the staff made frequent visits around our rooms in the first hour of our visit.
Our eager eyes wanted to catch the glipmse of the desert but were informed that the desert would be burning hot at that hour and the best time to make acquaintance with it would be in the evenings. We chose to stay indoors in the AC rooms until then as the world inside those four walls appeared heaven.
As the evening set it, they organized for a camel safari to reach the desert at around 5 in the evening and the desert had started driving away its heated anger. The trip to the desert on the camels back was a great experience. Our heart skipped a bit initially when the camel stood up on its feet and marched a few steps – a scary moment until you settle into it. The experience could also contribute a back ache that lived with us until the next day but must say that it is worth the experience to reach the desert hopping naturally on the camel’s back, which otherwise our etiquette would generally shy us away.
The sand dunes in the desert here is very clean and is certainly a treat to the eyes. As we walked up into the sand leaving behind footprints which vanished quickly behind us and the thin sand escaping from our toes, we looked around to find an area spread afar with heaps of sand mountains changing their shape and size quite often. Reaching atop, standing in the smooth grain of sand and watching the sun go down turning itself into crimson orange which in turn changed the color of the desert, was a marvellous moment.
We returned back to the resort as soon as the desert started turning dark. The resort had arranged for a cultural program alongwith tea and snacks served. The folklore was an unique experience in itself and the inmates for the day did enjoy the evening whole-hearted humming and dancing to the tunes of the folk music which also played few bollywood numbers in their typical local style.
Post dinner, the owner Mr. Gajendra Singh arranged for a jeep safari at late night based on our request. We were told that experiencing the desert in the pitch dark night was something not to be missed. The way to the desert in the jeep was quite adventurous. We must say that these guys are quite experienced in controlling the jeep as the drive was quite enthralling but surely not for the weak-hearted, children and elders, though. He did show us some wild animals en route that had come out in the night hoping that the human species retired into their homes. The desert was pitch dark in the night and we realized that our eyes functioned only when we looked up into the sky where the numerous twinkling stars smiled back at us. The desert does look scary and eerie with no human soul around with cool breeze greeting us continuously. Having spent decent time we headed back to the resort to put an end to the day.
On the other day, waking up early to greet the rising sun we hurried to the desert. We noticed that couple of tourists had hired tents to sleep in the desert the previous night and they continued to be in their static state. After spending some decent time with our cameras, we headed on for the dune bashing and we did realize the importance of thrill of the hour as the jeep dives down into the sand from top and makes your heart skip a beat. The drive is literally scary as the jeep overturns left, right, center and suddenly descends into the hollow bottom and by the time your eyes want to capture that moment, the tyres would have very soon turned upwards, splashing away grains of sand into the air to make the climb to an another heap of sand and there you are! back atop and the cycle continues until your eyes start feeling annoyed and dizzy, and that one look into the driver’s eyes putting the adventure thrill to a halt.
After having a wonderful breakfast and completing our stay at the resort we headed on to explore the Jaisalmer city to cover prime places of interest for the remaining part of the day – The Fort, Patwaon ki haveli, Bada Bagh and the Gadisar lake each providing an unique story to admire. These center of attractions kept us involved through out the day, until it was time for us to head back to the station where the train was eagerly waiting for us.
All in all, the tour to Jaisalmer especially the desert experience was an excellent experience to carry back home.
For those interested in the resort that we were put up in, can refer the below link